Review: Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer

I've been hearing about Essence Fresh & Fit Awake Primer Healthy Glow Pore Minimizing Effect a lot, especially in relation to one of the Charlotte Tilbury products and since Essence is an affordable drugstore brand, plus my primer collection is fairly limited, I decided to give it a try. Boy, this is definitely one of those great surprises from the drugstore.


It comes in pastel peach plastic squeeze tube. Opening has a little hole through which you can control the amount of product. In it is 30 ml of product and it costs 3.79€.

Essence says that it has ultra-smooth texture with wake-up effect. It gives your skin healthy glow and visibly minimizes pores for an even skin tone. They also claim it contains complex of vitamin B3, E, provitamin B5 and cranberry water. It can be used alone or under foundation. 


I hear this is being described as a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Wonder Glow Instant Soft Focus Beauty Flash. You can see swatches of both here. They sure look very similar.

Primer has a thicker creamy lotion texture that is firm, but blends out with ease. It has that glide to it that makes it apply smooth on the skin (I notice silicon in the formula as well). It absorbs fairly quick and doesn't feel sticky, just a bit dewy to the touch. 

Formula contains very fine shimmer which gives it that pearliness. It makes the skin look glowy, but without any obvious shimmer, just a healthy sheen. Finish is very much skin like, but with a pearly transparent sheen and glow. It truly looks like you're glowing from within and it catches light so beautifully, yet looks like part of the skin. 


It comes out as a pale peach pearly color and once you blend it out, it gives you more of that pearly sheen with a slightly cooler silver glow. I think the peach base is perfect for light to medium skin tones, as ti gives you that natural color to cooler sheen, so it makes it look more skin like and not frosty.

Left: only my skin care, Right: Essence primer on top of the skin care, all over the face

Essence primer with foundation on top


This can definitely be worn on its own as a very natural looking dewy part-of-the-skin highlight. If you have even skin tone, you can apply this on the high points of the face and you're good to go. Or just wear it on its own for those no makeup days, but with added healthy sheen.

I also use it under foundation as a primer. It made my skin look plumper and hydrated. It's not a skin care product, so don't expect miracles, but it definitely makes your skin look better. The glow doesn't show through high coverage foundations, but it should show through a more thinner consistency foundations or BB creams. Foundation sticks to it good and it makes it last well through the day. I also like mixing it in with foundation to give it a bit of that glow, especially if something is too matte looking. 

As far as the pore minimizing claim goes, anything that has a sheen to it, will not blur your pores and this one doesn't either. For blurring out my pores I much prefer typical silicon matte primer which also controls sebum production around those areas. If you have a lot of texture on your skin, I would avoid this.

It has a floral sweet scent which is actually pleasant and fairly subtle.

Usually drugstore products lack refinement when it comes to skin like formulas, but not this one. This really looks like it's part of your skin. It gives your that glow, but without any visible shimmer or opaque base that would give it away as being too fake. It has light peachy base which fits well on light to medium skin tones. Under foundation it wears well, but will not be for those that have a lot of texture or huge pores. For those areas I recommend a more traditional pore blurring matte primer. This is also great worn on its own. For the price, you get a really nice product that could easily be mistaken for something more high end. If you like how this sounds, I'd say - get it, since you never know with Essence when they might discontinue something from their range. 

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